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 Human Rights are Property Rights

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What are human rights?

The first legal document that protects human rights was The Universal Declaration of Human Rights adopted by the UN General Assembly in 1948.

Human rights are the rights that all people have simply because they exist as human beings, so these rights are not granted by any state. They are universal, which means that we are all equally entitled to them, and inherent to all of us, regardless of sex, nationality, origin, religion, or any other status.

Human rights range from the most fundamental, such as the right to life, to those that improve life quality, such as the rights to education, work, and liberty. They are also inalienable, so they cannot be taken away, except in specific situations. For instance, the right to liberty might be restricted if one is guilty of a crime.

Learning about human rights is an integral part of the education process at schools and universities. If you are really interested in this topic, you would probably like to broaden your knowledge of it. You can do it by watching various educational movies or reading biographies of famous human rights activists. One of them is Martin Luther King, whose personality is perfectly described at as well as in numerous articles and essays on the web. Start with anything that awakens your interest and enjoy the process of learning itself. Luckily, there is a wide range of free resources available on the Internet today.

What are property rights?

Property rights define the ownership of both tangible or intangible resources and how they can be used by individuals, businesses, and governments. In most countries, individuals implement the rights of private persons to accumulate, hold, transfer, rent out for profit, or sell their property. Together with labor laws, property rights form the basis for all market exchanges.

Property is totally secured by laws defined and enforced by the state. Property rights define ownership and any benefits that might come with holding the possessions. Well-defined and well-protected property rights eliminate destructive competition for economic resources. They help replace competition through violence with competition by peaceful means.

Are property rights human rights?

For many years social critics have complained that property rights too often take precedence over human rights. As a result, people are treated unequally and have different opportunities. Therefore, some social activists want to transfer property rights from private ownership to government ownership. But such transfers can make an economy less effective. Therefore, it would not be the best decision for a society that fights for human rights as they can be lost eventually.

Experts say that weakening private property rights can increase the role of personal characteristics that discriminate against either competing buyers or sellers. There are two extremes in weakened private property rights: socialism and so-called commonly owned resources. They mean that either government agents or groups of people have some restricted rights to make decisions about the property they control but at the same time, they can’t possess it. According to professionals’ point of view, such an approach may lead to big financial  losses and a general deficit for everybody.

Since property rights influence the ways people compete for control of resources, these rights must be more complete in order to diminish any discrimination. If they don’t allow age, sex, ethnicity, and religious favoritism, competition can be fair and peaceful. This way, human rights are not violated but supported.

As we can see, inequality exists in any society. But rejecting property rights in order to secure human rights and make all people equal is not a good solution. In reality, the desire to eliminate private property rights means the desire to get more wealth by “taking” from others. What society really needs is the protection of their property rights.

The conflict between property rights and human rights is a mirage since these two are in essence the same. Just think, private property rights are the rights of humans to use and exchange goods. Any restraint on them shifts the balance of power toward political authorities. So the main reason why a system of strong private property rights must be preferred is that it protects individual liberty.

Author’s BIO

James Collins is a researcher and academic writer. He specializes in Law and Economics, so his work is focused mainly on these two subjects. James helps students who experience study difficulty at college complete their assignments, research papers, and projects. He believes that young people need some assistance to become a top student and reach outstanding academic results.